The story begins a few days before Christmas in Los Angeles, Jean and her L. A. District Attorney husband Rick are carjacked by a couple of African American guys. Soon after in another part of L. A. , a racist cop Ryan and his partner Hanson pull over an African American TV director Cameron and his wife Christine, for no cause. Officer Ryan sexually molested attractive Christine in front of her helpless husband. Officer Ryan has an explanation like “searching” for hidden weapons inside a woman’s cloth”!
That night a series of racially biased incidents takes place in different parts of L. A. The movie is made from a series of incidents of L. A. people’s lives, and how their racial intolerance causes them to be indifferent and depressed. Many of these disturbing events grow into racial intolerance and racial stereotyping. This is a film that deals with a common problem of “Racism” that is prevalent in many modern American societies and also explores how intolerance and prejudice are a collective problem for the American society.
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In each of the episodes it aggressively shows the racial and sexual barriers that separate characters from understanding each other. It succeeded in making the story as well as the characters believable and the greater message is to the world that “appearances can be deceiving” and “modern America is not free from racism and social class division”. This film dares to bring to light some of these prejudices that many people experience in one form or another during their life in America.
The episode that really sticks out in my mind is when Cameron and his wife were pulled over by Officer Ryan and his partner. Just watching how Officer Ryan violated all of Cameron’s rights, and not only humiliated him in front of his wife, but sexually molested her enraged me because this is the type of stuff that goes on more times than not in America. Black people especially black men are often the victims of such intolerable act by officers of the law that often leave these men disenfranchised.
A lot of times victims of this continued abuse usually become just like the perpetrators, where they in turn hurt those or others around them to feel powerful; or even begin self medicating with drugs or alcohol. While people normally do not think of repercussions while they are in the midst of their actions, If I were to counsel Cameron, I would definitely use motivational interviewing techniques with him and remind him that we are not always in control of what happens to us in life, ut to reassure him that this incident wasn’t about him but it was about Officer Ryan feeling hopeless in his own life. I would also remind him that while he may feel violated by Officer Ryan’s inappropriate actions, he still has recourse under the law. I would tell Cameron that he could file complaints with the Internal Affairs Bureau of the LAPD and then follow whatever steps are necessary to see that Officer Ryan will never be able to do this to him or any other human being and hopefully if this does not happen to another person that Cameron can feel empowered in knowing that he affected change!
We can feel Christine’s humiliation and be sympathetic towards Cameron. This movie definitely shed some light on racism and prejudice and let the world know that there are many untold stories such as ‘Christine’s and ‘Cameron’s’ in modern America. This movie made me laugh and cry as well as sympathize towards many of the characters, in comparison with the real life situations.